For New York City, April is the cruelest month. Just one year ago it was poised to embark on $12 billion worth of eye-catching new development centered on mass transit hubs, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a 127-point plan to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent while adding a million new residents by 2030. A lot has happened since then.
Autumn jitters over the sub-prime mortgage market snowballed during the winter into talk of a full-blown recession, making it difficult for private developers—which the city and state rely on to help make its massive developments possible—to secure financing. Then, in March, political momentum for many of the projects faltered after New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign amid a prostitution scandal.